iOS 8 to have console-quality games by Crytek, EA, and Epic thanks to Metal graphics API

iOS 8 to have console-quality games by Crytek, EA, and Epic thanks to Metal graphics API
At WWDC 2014, Apple once again reminded us how seriously it takes mobile gaming. Apple's devices were the first ever mobiles to run games powered by Epic Games's Unreal Engine 3, and having Infinity Blade on the iPhone 4 was, and still is, a sight to behold. Today, Apple continued the tradition by introducing Metal - an API that will allow game developers to tap the A7 SoC's potential at speeds up to 10 times faster.

Judging by the demos shown, console-quality graphics are already a reality on the iPad Air, with console titles Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (powered by the Frostbite engine) and The Collectables (powered by CryEngine) shown running on the machine with un-touched graphics. Although we can safely presume these scenes weren't real-time footage, Apple did invite Epic Games' founder, Tim Sweeney, for a brief on-stage demonstration. He showed the audience the creation of a beautiful Unreal Engine in real-time inside the Unreal editor.

Essentially, the Metal API will let developers squeeze every last drop of power out of the A7 and allow for complex graphics processing effects. Metal is arguably the best piece of news for iOS gamers so far, and we're happy to report that Apple is working with established publishers, such as EA Games, Crytek, and Epic Games to bring new and renowned titles to the platform.

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28 Comments

1. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Sadly this is Apple's attempt to lock in developers too now. They are so desperate that they have now attempted to lock down the system even more with metal and swift. Making sure that their apps can't be ported easily to other systems at all. Literally putting a gun to developers heads saying "our way or the highway". Also, all low money developers can go to hell, or spend time and money learning new languages and graphics apis (screw the OpenCL/GL community that help support and promote Apple).

6. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Well said. It seems to be the general direction of smartphones. I'm sure Google's "ART" is something that leads down this same path, albeit more slowly. Once there is no standard runtime platform, i.e. Dalvik, then Google can fold in whatever proprietary tools/languages they want.

7. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Negative, that isn't how virtual machines work, they all answer to the same language. Java ---> virtual machine ----> system, is the route for Android. They can change out the virtual machine whenever they want and it will interpret code differently than the last (better hopefully), but the coding remains the same because it is Java. If they changed the language like they did with swift, then there would be a problem. Also, Apple killed OpenGL with this as well, which literally is the bigger problem. This is by far the worst day for cross platform and small time developers. Now only the big programming companies will rule and everyone else will have to watch (developers developers developers).

11. Herodes

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

The world evolves, if you want to keep using the same technology for 10+ years do it, but don't make evolution look like some kind of conspiracy against you or anyone. If you're too close-minded to acknowledge the optimization that this will bring to handheld devices, then you don't belong in the Mobile Dev world.

12. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Wow, I didn't know OpenGL 3.0 has been around for 10+ years. I guess you're right, and we should all bow down to your fruity overlord. (the irony of an iFan calling someone else close-minded isn't lost on me either)

15. Herodes

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

I don't own any Apple device. I do know how to appreciate certain developments in the industry as I'm sure you're not acquainted with the development cycle on which this new improvements can be and will be used. Guess I'm not the fanboy here.

28. liggerstuxin

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 03, 2014

You out smarted that troll. Nice.

18. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

This is the best part of apple's announcement. Now it's more convenient, and fast to write a code. Kudos to apple..

21. Daniel.95

Posts: 89; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

!@#$ You Microsoft. Why we should be last one ???? I want them on my Windows Phone. :A

2. Anshulonweb

Posts: 468; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

this sounds good unlike other things announced today.....

3. alaw.14

Posts: 414; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

Right, this is the only good thing I heard.

5. superfans

Posts: 155; Member since: Jul 30, 2012

Most good things are on OSX , iOS 8 are like kitkat , just a minor update from previous software.

19. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

I totally agree! Can't wait to update my Macs! OS X Yosemite!

20. superfans

Posts: 155; Member since: Jul 30, 2012

I would love to try out the new continuity feature, its somethings you won't find in windows !

4. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2348; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Okay....

8. egbtmagus

Posts: 93; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

It's not console quality graphics because once you output it to a TV it looks like crap in comparison.

9. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

If the core is not governed, I wonder if they up battery size enough. Or will it be time limited to runs of games under ten minutes to not melt phone down.

10. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Why just console quality? The standard for consoles is just 1080p 30 fps (even 900p or 720) Why not PC quality? How about 1080p 60 fps? or 1440p or 4K? Jokes aside, the Metal API sounds very impressive, Good Apple

14. Canaan

Posts: 351; Member since: May 25, 2014

I've read that PC quality or more intense games require more RAM and since Apple has been stingy in that department, it'll probably be harder to implement?

22. picka_vi_materina

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

What good is more RAM when you don't have the power to fill it.

23. Canaan

Posts: 351; Member since: May 25, 2014

The LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Sony Xperia Z2 seem to be able to handle 3 GB of RAM quite easily. Besides, the more RAM you have the better multitasking experience you get, it isn't just about powering intense games.

13. renz4

Posts: 319; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

so is this good or bad? well good for developer than wants to bring much graphically complex game on iOS device but since this is most likely low level API they can't have the same performance on other device. so either they make the game exclusively for iOS or tone down their graphic complexity so other device with similar hardware performance can work on it. on another aspect this is direct jab to handheld console like vita or 3ds. handheld like vita have impressive performance running much graphically demanding games because of low level API.

16. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Nvidia is the only company helping push gaming for Android, but most of the Android fans have been bowing down before Qualcomm, who has done nothing for mobile gaming.

25. renz4

Posts: 319; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

well because gaming is their butter and bread. when they come in soc space they try to tackle the gaming aspect as their advantage. but unlike PC nvidia is a small force in mobile. nvidia TWIMTBP program on pc have huge impact on pc gaming. it takes AMD a bit of time to acknowledge having such program is an advantage but in the end they are forced to respond nvidia initiative with their Gaming Evolved program. but on mobile it is different. nvidia is small force. even if nvidia chip excels in games that is useless when there is not many popular product use it. so company like qualcomm doesn't need to put much effort tackling gaming aspect of their chip when nvidia is not really a threat to them to win contracts from OEM. as long as they support the new feature in the OpenGL ES latest standard and winning the synthetic benchmark that's good enough for them.

17. arenanew

Posts: 286; Member since: Dec 30, 2013

joke made by ios . duffer is alway duffer . still apple crap device copying symbian os .

24. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

let tegra k1 get released then we'll see how gaming really looks like. apple wants to make console quality games for 4 inch display, can't even touch the controls properly in that tiny screen and half the screen is covered by our figures .then we have to watch console quality graphics on remaining 2inch display? lolz.

26. renz4

Posts: 319; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

the performance advantage of TK1 is real but that's why Apple come up with this Metal API. with low level API dev can tap extra performance from the chip which is not possible with high level API such as OpenGL ES. and since all their SoC using Power VR gpu exclusively it is much more easier for them to implement such method on iOS. but on android that have variety of hardware used by each OEM pushing low level API is next to impossible. the state of mobile SoC OpenGL (ES) driver already a chaotic so if each graphic vendor on mobile soc coming up with their own API it will makes thing very complicated for game dev. if that really happen maybe some of game dev will forget about android comlpetely and only make games exclusively for iOS

27. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

Forget about android completely? That's never going to happen, once art is implemented in full fledged I don't see android slowing down a bit. Secondly android is growing since its released so devs won't stop making games. And 1 more thing is,Dev do get paid from android users so there's no reason to stop making games for them. Nvidia is the only company capable of getting console quality graphics to mobiles as they have the hardware capabilities that match the PC quality (in terms of graphics) ,they got nvidia shield ,it streams PC games,can login to steam,etc etc. Most important, the devs who make current gen mobile games are not even using full potential of the android hardware .like make use of only 2 cores of processor even though we have 4 cores,also GPU usage is not 100% in any gaming. In don't know why they limiting these usage. Now may be because iPhone,iPad still has dual cores so they basically making it use 2 cores OR may be because the device might get too hot if all 4cores are used while playing games. I just want to see games being optimized well because current gen GPU is quite strong but game optimization is bad.

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